Evian: marketing and communication strategies, brand identity

Evian is the most famous still water in the french market, as it's also in the rest of the world. It has a premium status in the market, and usually is three times more expensive than other brands of spring water in France, and this gap can be even broader in the rest of Europe, e.g. in the UK, Germany and Belgium.

Marketing and communication strategies
Perhaps one of the reasons Evian’s brand is so differentiated and has this premium status is due to their unique brand communication efforts, e.g., with the slogan “naturally pure and mineral-balanced water supports your body's youth” the “Live Young” global advertising campaign was launched in July 2009. The advertisement features a group of break-dancing babies and is much more playful than previous ad campaigns.

'Live Young', Evian's first ever global campaign, used youth (specifically babies, a traditional concept for Evian) to valorize the values of evian (one of man’s greatest aspirations, and an attitude, a mindset that creates engagement from consumers, crossgeneration and cross geographies). This campaign was set to launch simultaneously in France, UK, Germany, Belgium, Canada, US, Russia and Japan. In France, where the launch of the new babies creative was eagerly anticipated, activity was heavily supported by TV. In other markets, this campaign would not benefit from the same collective memory than in France, so the activities of the campaign needed to focus solely or primarily on digital channels, such as:

  • Digital: a full entertainment program was created online, with 2 pre-launch viral movies, a Premiere, a Making Of, and interviews with the babies on YouTube, blogs and the new Evian LiveYoung website.
  • Public relations: to activate the world’s media and stimulate general interest around the campaign and the brand.
  • Events: Berlin Fashion Week, US Masters etc, to engage consumers locally.
  • TV & Cinema: to leverage the entertainment dimension.
  • Print: To complete the message of the campaign, seven months after the launch of the first film.
  • The Live Young Training Website: to continue engaging consumers with the brand.

The results and effectiveness of this global campaign were seen in a massive, positive public relations noise, buzz, and/or virality around the brand:

  • In 2010, the Evian Rollerbabies campaign was certified by the Guinness World Records as the most viewed online ad of all time with over 165 millions views and counting, with over €5m in free airtime.
  • Time Magazine advert of the year, NÂș1 for the Wall Street Journal, Guardian Top 5.
  • Internet users watch the ad three times on average. Ad viewers are three times more likely to go to the Evian website than average.
  • One of the top 20% most effective ads ever (source: GfK France, Belgium and Germany). 
The economics results of this campaign were seen in a rise of sales and market share: 

  • France: +7% in sales.
  • UK: +13% in market share.
  • Canada: +7% in market share.

Evian brand could also be effectively differentiated as a result of their packaging design. Since 1995, Evian has issued limited edition bottles annually with customized design. In 2008 they collaborated with Christian Lacroix, and in 2009 with Jean Paul Gaultier, the Hermes creative director. By working with famous designers to create unique and exclusive bottles, Evian positions its brand as high end and fashionable.
Although Evian's packaging design and brand communication tactics vary from year to year, Evian is constantly striving to differentiate their brand.

Brand identity

To describe Evian's still water brand identity in the french market, we are going to use the brand identity prism, as shown below:

Source: own elaboration.

The next graphic shows the result of evaluating Evian's key image attributes in France versus other european countries where it's sold.

Source: Isabelle Schuiling and Jean-Jacques Lambin "Do global brands benefit from a unique worldwide image?"

It's relevant to mention that Evian, as a global brand, has an strong esteem in its country of origin and is considered a strong local brand, which may have helped in its success as a global brand. Consumers in France have known Evian for many years and have developed a close relationship with it.

Evian commercial - 2009

Evian commercial "baby inside" - 2009